Stephen Ross puts $500K into PAC. Where’s the rest?

Related Chairman hoped to raise $10M-plus to influence mayor’s race

New York /
Apr.April 09, 2021 12:45 PM
Stephen Ross (Getty, iStock)

Stephen Ross (Getty, iStock)

Related Companies chairman Stephen Ross has made no secret of his desire for a more business-friendly mayor in City Hall. But his efforts to get other industry leaders to pour money into the race might not be going as planned.

Ross recently made a $500,000 contribution to Vote for NYC’s Future, a super PAC with ties to his development firm, The City reported. Charles John O’Byrne, Related’s executive vice president for policy, is listed as the super PAC’s treasurer. Related declined to comment.

The donation is the only contribution the group has received, according to state Board of Election records. And it’s a far cry from the $10 million — or even tens of millions — that Ross reportedly hopes to raise in an effort to “change the future course of the city,” as the New York Times reported last month.

Ross, whose net worth is about $7 billion, has reportedly tried to gather other business leaders to pour money into the race to “help us get this mayoral election right,” according to that report. Industry bigwigs have donated substantial sums to a PAC supporting former Citigroup executive Ray McGuire, which has raised more than $1 million, with contributions coming from RFR Holdings’ Aby Rosen and entities tied to the LeFrak family, among others.

In the past, Ross has donated to candidates on both sides of the aisle, including former President Donald Trump, for whom he threw a 2019 fundraiser that sparked a backlash that Ross came to regret.

In this election cycle he has donated $1 million to Common Sense NYC, an independent expenditure that has already spent about $220,000 on City Council candidates. But he’s remained mum on supporting any particular mayoral candidate, telling the Times that he would back “the one who is best and can help all New Yorkers.”

If Ross remains unsure of his choice, he is not alone. Half of voters in a recent poll said they were undecided on the June 22 Democratic primary, which is almost certain to determine the outcome of the general election.

[The City] — Amy Plitt





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